Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lecture Diagram 52: Perspective Constructions of an Ionic Capital (after Thomas Malton Senior and Jacques Androuet du Cerceau)

c.1810

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 657 x 830 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D17070
Turner Bequest CXCV 100

Catalogue entry

Prepared by Turner for his lectures as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy, Diagram 52 illustrates methods for drawing an Ionic capital by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau (1515–1585) and the elder Thomas Malton (1726–1801). For the left part, Turner copied an example from du Cerceau’s Leçons de perspective positive (1576, leçon XIIII) There are sketches of this element in a manuscript containing an early lecture text.1 The portion of the right diagram illustrating the Ionic capital is taken from Malton’s Compleat Treatise on Perspective in Theory and Practice on the true Principles of Dr Brook Taylor (1775, pl.XXII, fig.104, left diagram). The first mention of the diagram occurs in a discussion of the architectural orders, after a gap in the text where Turner writes ‘End of Third Lecture’.2 Maurice Davies suggests that at some point, perhaps as early as 1811, Turner may have realised that his material was too extensive for one lecture and divided it into two.3 See Diagram 43 (Tate D17063; Turner Bequest CXCV 93) for a probable concluding illustration to Lecture 3. The present diagram would have been the first to be shown with the new Lecture 4, which starts with the Ionic and Corinthian orders.4 There is a further reference to the diagram in a draft text which Davies believes is related to Lecture 4.5
1
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 F folios 11 verso, 12.
2
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 M folio 16 verso.
3
Davies 1994, p.257.
4
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 M folios 18 and verso.
5
Davies 1994, p.272; Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 M folio 33 verso.
Technical notes:
Peter Bower writes that the sheet is Pott Quad paper made by Joseph Ruse, at Upper Tovil Mill, Maidstone, Kent.1
1
Notes in Tate catalogue files.
Verso:
See Tate D40005.

Andrea Fredericksen
June 2004

Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Revised by David Blayney Brown
January 2012

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like